Five Tips for Integrating Subscription Commerce Into Your Marketing Strategy
While there are some businesses out there that are solely subscription-based, many companies decide to add subscription commerce to an already successful ecommerce business. This enables them to develop another revenue channel, deepen their relationships with existing customers, and ultimately increase their top line revenue. Once implemented, how do these companies market their subscriptions in relation to their other products? If you’re considering adding a subscription service to your online store, here are a few tips to get you started.
- Promote your subscription across channels: Once you set up a subscription program on your web site, it’s essential to actually promote them (you might be surprised how some merchants forget this). That includes putting a banner on your homepage and incorporating subscription copy strategically on your website. While these are no-brainers, you also have to remember to incorporate information about subscriptions into your other marketing channels. This is particularly important to do when you first make your subscription available. Letting current as well as prospective customers know that they now have an option to subscribe will be a great way to jump-start marketing a new program.
- Offer a first-time, free trial: Everybody loves a deal, and by incorporating your subscription into your rotation of discounts, deals and other promotions, you’ll ensure that this option stays front-and-center. At the same time, remember that it’s important to balance promoting your subscription with other offerings and to make sure your subscription is unique so that it doesn’t cannibalize other products sales—or vice versa.
- Upsell the subscription, and vice versa. Speaking of cannibalization: If your subscription products are different enough from other products you’re selling, you generally don’t have to worry about cannibalization. Instead, you can easily take advantage of that differentiation by upselling subscriptions and products to each of your different customer segments. For example, you may offer a one-off, subscribers-only special on a product that’s exclusively available to them. Conversely, you could offer an additional discount on a subscription to customers who make purchases that are 2-3x your average purchase level. The more you make them feel valued, the more likely they will to start and continue their subscriptions, as well as remain loyal.
- Incorporate marketing copy into transactional emails. Customers receive non-marketing emails from ecommerce stores all the time (e.g. receipts, account confirmation creation, etc.). Why not integrate some of your marketing copy into those emails? For example, for account creation emails, you can upsell a subscription, or offer add-ons for a single discounted product. All it takes is a single line of copy, a link and a promo code. And anytime you send out a marketing email, be sure to reserve some space to highlight the bonuses of a subscription, such as free shipping, 15% off, etc., and link that back to your subscription program page.
- Get into the details: Carve out time in your marketing, content and social media calendar to promote the subscription. Don’t just use promotional language, though. Create content that demonstrates what subscribers get. If it’s a box subscription, be sure to spend some time developing content around the different parts of the box. If you’re autoshipping a single type of product like coffee or even more mundanely coffee filters, take some time developing use cases or customer stories that highlight the success of those subscriptions.
Do you have any tips for integrating subscriptions into your overarching marketing strategy? If so, we want to hear about them in the comments section.
And if you’re ready to make subscription commerce easier, contact us. We’ll show you how Subscribe Pro can help you not only streamline operations, but grow your revenue.